An odd little story about a 43-year-old man who, while playing Santa Claus, meets a 25-year-old man at the mall. What starts as friendship grows to more with the help of family.
*** There are spoilers in this review. ***
I'm not quite sure what to make of this story. I will begin with the first thoughts of one of the main characters after hearing a child (at the mall) yell "Daddy, Daddy, Santa's coming!"
Santa's coming? Where? I wondered as I passed the queue waiting at Santa's Magic Grotto, images forming of a hot Santa coming on me or in me in a glow worm lit cave.
So the story begins. Santa is 43-year-old Mike. Mike is a disabled man who works as Santa Claus in the local mall for three weeks during the holiday season. One day Don, who is 25, is in the mall and locks eyes with 'Santa'. He has no idea what the man looks like outside of the costume but he is intrigued and ends up coming back at another time (with his nephew in tow) and meets Mike the man, not Santa.
I am a big fan of books where the main characters have a substantial age difference. Sure, eighteen years is a bit of stretch but I was perfectly fine with it as both men are adults. I have read other reviews where people complained about the age difference. I am not one of them.
The dialogue, while written as serious, had me laughing quite a bit as I personally have never met two men who talk to each other like that.
"We loved each other with an intensity the great romancers, seducers and Romeos of the world could not have believed nor achieved...gentle, passionate and erotic. We enjoyed dynamic sex, sometimes rough and adventurous, other times so subtle and calm that would barely ripple a pond. On every occasion, we ensured each relished total satiation, a unique consideration in today's fast lanes of greed, selfishness and impatience."
Nice, yes, but a bit much. Another example (though this one isn't too bad):
"Man, you worried me for a moment. I've needed this, to hold you, to feel your flesh against me, to smell your male scents, to cradle your butt cheeks, and to feel your cock hard against mine. I've missed feeling a man in my arms for too long."
"Nah... more likely those oysters you've been popping in my mouth since Christmas, no doubt to increase my libido. And then of course, those long asparagus stalks you keep serving with hot melted cheeses and sauces oozing all over, probably expecting their horny, sexy appearances to bone me up. Not to mention those large red strawberries, their pointy ends rising above the liquored cream like cock heads, expecting them to remind me, I suppose, of your nipples and my own red-hot cream producers."
The most humorous line in the entire book for me was the very last one. I will put it at the end of this review.
There were also some major editing issues in the copy I purchased (from All Romance). A quote would begin and then it would go into something else (in the same paragraph) that was not part of the quote. Then at the bottom of the paragraph another quote would start and again, no closing quotation mark. It was one rambling paragraph that I found myself having to re-read (time and again) to figure out what the author was trying to say. Had this been one or two instances, I could have overlooked it and it would not have been mentioned in this review. This happened often. Quite often.
I love reading books with children in them and that focus on family. This had four little boys in it that were written perfectly.
Mike's disability was written well, though a lisp is mentioned a couple of times but then it suddenly disappears without any explanation. I'm not quite sure why it was even there.
This book jumps ahead in time throughout the entire story. While I don't mind that at times, having it jump forward as often as this one did was frustrating. In one particular part of the book, the main characters were in a hot tub. Then, without any type of warning, they were lying in bed. I only caught this when it said Mike twisted me on the bed, looked at me and gripped my arm as I continued. It was like Voila! now in the bed with no mention of when they got there.
The writing seems dated to me. I've read comments where it was stated (many times) that the author is from Australia. I am aware that the dialect and actual writing would read differently to me as I am in the United States. But I talk to an Australian woman practically every day of my life and I have never been confused in what I was reading in her emails. Have I had to look up a word or two? Absolutely. But I've never had to question her in regards to what she was saying to me because I was completely lost.
There is also a lot of discussing of old lovers and relationships that I found to be odd for two men on a first date. I agree that the information should come out eventually but on a first date?
Overall, the story was okay. As mentioned above, I enjoy reading books where the main characters have a substantial age difference and I am all about reading books involving children and families. Had the editing issues not be present (and frequent) I may have been able to enjoy this more. Had the book been free, again, no issue. But I purchased this with my own funds and I expected more as far as the editing. I never go into a book expecting perfection as I am aware that mistakes can be made and overlooked easily. But when I pay for a book I expect more.
I must also point out something else that stood out for me. There is a statement made in regards to a family member who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. I have ADHD (diagnosed) and what I read in this book was not accurate in regards to the statement being made, at least not in my case. I understand that everyone with the disorder is different so I could be incorrect in that regard. I just found that one comment to be strange and unlike any of my own personal experiences.
The last line in the book, while the two men are having sex for the first time:
"Donny, Donny, Santa's coming."